January 26, 2018 / 5:25 PM / 2 years ago

House panel to investigate sexual abuse in sports

FILE PHOTO: Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands with his legal team during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee said Friday it will investigate sexual abuse in organized sports after the sentencing of a USA Gymnastics team doctor for sexually abusing female athletes.

The committee sent letters to USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State University, USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo, asking questions about sexual abuse within organized sports. Some were asked when they became aware of abuse allegations relating to the U.S. gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, and answers were requested by Feb. 9.

Nassar was sentenced in Michigan this week to up to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting young female gymnasts.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Education said Friday it was also investigating the Nassar abuse case.

“What happened at Michigan State is abhorrent,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “The Department is investigating this matter and will hold MSU accountable for any violations of federal law.”

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Bernadette Baum

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